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Festive music. Decorated houses. Cooler temps. Yep, it’s officially the holiday season in Dallas. And while some of these things can be enjoyed all year (hey, cranberry Moscow Mules are good anytime), most only come around in December. Here’s how to get a healthy dose of holiday cheer.

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downtown dallas holiday guide
Downtown Dallas/Facebook

1. Take advantage of Downtown Wanderland’s spirit of giving. From photos with Santa at Neiman’s to free gift-wrapping stations, you can get merry while getting things done.

2. Take a carriage ride through Highland Park. Blankets, hot chocolate and all the feels included.

3. Make a rezzie at a legendary Dallas restaurant (we’re looking at you, The Mansion). Dress up, order a bottle of wine and don’t look back.

4. Get all cultured and see the Texas Ballet Theater’s production of The Nutcracker.

5. Eat and shop (and then eat more) at the Texas Christkindl Market, one of the largest open-air holiday markets in the Southwest.

galleria ice skating dallas holiday guide
Galleria Dallas

6. Skate around a ginormous, glorious tree in the center of the Galleria Dallas. You might even run into the backflipping Santa.

7. Hop aboard the M-Line Holiday Express, which is all decked out in garland, wreaths and lights. Say hi to the elf conductor for us.

8. Spend some quality time with your BFFs at high tea.

9. Overcome your fear of heights by taking a photo with Santa at 470 feet up in the air on the GeO-Deck of the Reunion Tower.

10. Feel all warm and fuzzy inside at our beloved Alamo Drafthouse while watching a classic holiday movie like It’s a Wonderful Life of Home Alone.

lone star christmas dallas holiday guide
Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center

11. Try to count the more than 2 million lights that make up the Lone Star Christmas.

12. Sharpen your kitchen skills at Sur La Table just in time to cook for your in-laws.

13. Meditate away all the stress of said in-laws by hitting up the Heartfulness Meditation at Klyde Warren Park every Saturday morning.

14. Treat yourself at Hiatus Spa with seasonal treatments like Merry & Bright, Let It Glow! Let It Glow! Let It Glow! and The Warm & Cozy.

15. Host a white-elephant gift exchange fueled by cranberry Moscow Mules.

wine ice cream floats dallas holiday guide
Club W

16. Enjoy some quality solo couch time while sipping a wine ice-cream float (or two).

17. Craft your wish list from all the amazing things in the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book. (Hope for the limited-edition Lilly Pulitzer car, but be happy with a Gray Malin coffee-table book.)

18. Nab tickets to one of the two remaining Cowboys home games for Christmas. #InDakWeTrust

19. Sing along with the Christmas Pops at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

20. Get tickets to see A Christmas Carol at AT&T Performing Arts Center with your grandma like you do every year. A woman is playing Scrooge this year, so you know it’s gonna be good.

Houndstooth dallas holiday guide
Houndstooth

21. Schedule at least one coffee catch-up date with a friend so that you have an excuse to order the Rhum Nut Cappuccino from Houndstooth.

22. Witness the African penguins on parade at the Dallas Zoo while temperatures and prices have momentarily dropped.

23. Take a walk through the Dallas Arboretum to catch the extravagant 12 Days of Christmas and wonder, Are those animatronics or people?

24. Have some time off? Hop into your car and head to Marfa. The Christmas lights in Highland Park Village will be here when you get back.

Highland Park Village Clock Tower dallas holiday guide
Laura Wilson

25. Speaking of which, kick back with a sugar cane toddy amid some of the city’s loveliest Christmas lights at Lounge 31 (perched atop Highland Park Village)—and congratulate yourself on making it through the season alive.

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